SPIT-FIRE the Trike

An ST1100 mated with a VW front end

Spit Fire

   Cool concept 3 wheel Trike;   Originally seen many years ago in Popular Mechanics, then a more recently a re-designed version named the Tri-Magnum was featured in Mechanix Illustrated magazine, February 1983.  Now you can find RT's (Reverse Trikes), all over the place with a dedicated website listed below. I An RT is a motorcycle with 3 wheels - This one drives like a car using a VW front axle w/2 wheels up front and a motorcycle behind for the rear wheel.  Much better stability and drivability than typical 1 wheel front-2wheels rear design.  Since the plans showed up in Popular Mechanics many have been built by individuals around the country.  Each has it's own creative touch, body work design and enhancements. 


Honda ST 1100 owners typically come up with names for their motorcycles using S & T in part of the name.  For the last few years this ST Trike has been known as "SpiTfire The Trike".  SpitFire was invited to show at this years International Motorcycle Show in Seattle.

Why do people love the experience of a Trike:

  1. The number one reason - a Trike is just great Fun and represents a uniqueness like nothing else - Miles of Smiles
  2. Gets 45+ MPG !  Cheap miles of smiles.
  3. Trikes are licensed as a motorcycle but much easier to drive.  No Balancing required!
  4. This one is Dual purpose; you can disconnect the motorcycle from the VW "accessory bolt front end".
  5.  Commuter lane !
  6. This Trike seats 2 people side by side (plus 2 on the motorcycle = 4 if you dare) 
  7. 2 front wheels are much better handling design than 1 wheel front trike
  8. Easier to drive than a motorcycle.  My momma could drive it! 
  9. You can customize the paint, the look and the ride in so many ways.   There are many examples of creative body designs; several are enclosed cabins.  Many have beautiful fancy paint jobs, fancy wheels, seats, etc.   See www.reversetrike.com
  10. You can add creature comforts limited only to your creative ideas.  Add a sound system, 2 way communications, Navigation, fancy lights, and more.

The Spit Fire placard is from a skateboard wheel company, but fits and looks pretty cool on the trike.  All decoration and even body and the paint can be easily changed and adapted to your custom ideas.

No permanent modification is done to the cycle. The throttle, clutch, instrument panel can all be moved to mount on the trike front section or back on the motorcycle handlebars.

Convertible: Remove the Bolt on Front end accessory - put the front forks back on, relocate the essentials, and "Presto" you are back to a standard motorcycle.

Reverse Trike is what these 2 wheels up front with 1 wheel behind designs are called.  You can read more about 2front 1rear wheel ( 2F1R ), trikes at http://www.reversetrike.com The latest versions of this trike have a website for the plans and a forum.  See Tri-Magnum

The Honda ST1100 has a superb - reliable reputation.  Other trike builders have chosen the ST1100 for the motorcycle end of a Reverse Trike project. Here are a couple ST1100 Trike conversions I particularly enjoyed. 
You Gotta check out this outrageous ST1100 reverse trike video!!  You can do a search at UTUBE for reverse trikes to see lots of very interesting reverse trike projects.  Here is another link to the STINGER which uses the same motorcycle pusher 2 seat front end accessory plan like the SpitFire, but the body work is pretty elaborate. 

These 2 Trike's are using the exact same 2 wheels front 1 wheel rear concept w/front end axle and same engineering concept to join the units together.  The bodies are obviously very unique - hand done with the red one using actual car panels and the other is a fiberglass rendition like the SpiT Fire.

    Whooooo Hoooo, is this puppy is fast and smooth!!  I keep thinking of other things I would add or change, but that is the nature of a project like this. 
It is running and licensed and is being enjoyed - was first on the road in '2000.  SpitFire continues to develop over the years, I'd like to try a removable steering wheel like some race cars use to make it easier to get in and out of.  I just barley fit in the cockpit.  Spiffier tires, cushy seats - my modification idea list is pretty long. 

I guess you could say it will always be a work in progress.  It has come a long way since it was patchwork yellow & black with no windshield and sporting a MotoGuzzi powerplant in 2001.
There will be plenty of  Customizing opportunities and ideas for the next owner. 

The Honda motorcycle section runs absolutely great! Solid, fast, and smooth, just like a dependable ST1100 should.  In fact if you look at the ST1100 web site you can find all the impressive aspects of Honda's best kept secret - the ST1100 Sport Touring Machine.  Currently lots of police are issued ST1100 and ST1300 motorcycles.

With a Trike creation or any custom vehicle; you will find Lots of things to personalize or customize.  Motorcycles become a fun ongoing hobby getting updates, modifications, more chrome, and all sorts of changes - essentially evolving over time to reflect a personal touch. 

This Trike is considered Finished, licensed and operating, and has been giving me miles of smiles for several years. 

The SpiT-fire Trike is worth more than it can be sold for.  Just lots of hours of tinkering, customizing and TLC that you can't put a price on. 

I have 8 vehicles! I had to downsize.  I sold it in 2010

Jeez, every time my wife and I went out in the Trike we had so much fun - we get & give lots of smiles - it was hard to sell, but at the same time I know the new owner will be enjoying it as much or more than I have ;)

I have a link here so you can read the whole "The SpiT-Fire" project story